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Miggy gets game off for first time this season

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DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera ambled into the Tigers' clubhouse at 10:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, appearing relaxed.

For the first time all season, Cabrera was not in Detroit's starting lineup Wednesday. Don Kelly took his place at first base.

For quite some time, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had been trying to figure out a way to give the All-Star and two-time reigning American League MVP Award winner a day off. That became more difficult when Victor Martinez's back and side soreness lingered.

Ausmus finally settled on Wednesday vs. the Dodgers as the game to be without both sluggers, for a number of reasons.

"Generally speaking, when you're a regular player, first of all, you want a day game off," Ausmus said. "We're playing outside of the division -- actually playing outside of the league, if you want to get technical. So that was the thought process behind it."

The manager also said that it's difficult to focus on matchups when selecting a day off for Cabrera because he hits a vast majority of pitchers well.

But the optimal time for Cabrera's short rest before the All-Star break would've come Sunday, according to Ausmus, when the Tigers faced David Price. Because that game was switched from the afternoon to the evening for ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast, that plan was ruled out.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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